There are so many explosive quotes in author Michael Wolff's new book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," that it's been hard for the media to keep up - even a media who's familiar with the fast-paced news cycle in the Trump era. First there were the Steve Bannon excerpts, revealing what the former White House chief strategist really thought about Donald Trump Jr.'s "treasonous" meeting with a Russian lawyer. Following those excerpts were claims suggesting Trump's closest confidantes believed he was mentally unstable.
The president and his staff insist they never offered Wolff the access he sought for his book. According to the president, he never even gave him a quote.
I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2018
Some reporters did look at Wolff's past and found reason to doubt his latest account.
"He has been accused of not just re-creating scenes in his books and columns, but of creating them wholesale," The Washington Post found.
In his best-selling book “Burn Rate,” for instance, about his time as an early Internet entrepreneur, Wolff "fabricated" a story about his father-in-law having open-heart surgery.
Pundits were also left scratching their heads over this word of warning at the beginning of "Fire and Fury."
Not many authors have to put a disclaimer in the beginning of their book questioning the authenticity of everything they write from there on. pic.twitter.com/UjQjMsVxgm— Joe Borelli (@JoeBorelliNYC) January 4, 2018
Still, Wolff defended his latest book as factual on the "Today" show Friday morning. His "window" into Trump is pretty significant, he told Savannah Guthrie. He spent at least three hours with him while he was gathering his research.
"I have recordings, I have notes, I am certainly and absolutely in every way comfortable with everything I have reported," the author said.
While Wolff stands by his reporting, Trump and his associates are not the only ones questioning the author's veracity. The New York Times's White House correspondent Maggie Haberman told CNN that the author got some basic details wrong.
"I believe parts of it and then there are other parts that are factually wrong," she said on CNN. "I can see several places in the book that are wrong. So for instance, he inaccurately describes a report in the New York Times. He inaccurately characterizes a couple of incidents that took place early on in the administration. He gets basic details wrong."